[QODLink]
Weather
Tropical Storm Isaac strengthens
It powers across the Caribbean, towards the tent cities of Haiti.
Last Modified: 23 Aug 2012 09:08

Tropical Storm Isaac is strengthening as it rages towards Haiti, where 400,000 people still live in tented communities [Al Jazeera]

Tropical Storm Isaac is hurtling across the Caribbean, making a bee-line for the island of Hispaniola. The Dominican Republic and Haiti, which share Hispaniola, are currently preparing for the worst.

Isaac has already churned over the tiny Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe, Martinique and Dominica.

Flights were cancelled, and some restaurants were closed, but fortunately Isaac wasn’t particularly powerful when it hit the islands. Generally the winds were under 75 kph, and no more than 80 mm of rain was reported.

Isaac is now heading west. It’s still strengthening and is expected to become a hurricane by the time it makes landfall on Hispaniola.

Although this storm won’t be welcome in either Haiti or the Dominican Republic, the consequences for Haiti are likely to be far more serious than for its neighbour.

Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the world, so has always struggled to cope with the aftermath of natural disasters. Deforestation has made Haiti highly vulnerable to landslides and flash flooding, and since the earthquake of 2010, the situation is even more serious.

The earthquake devastated Port-au-Prince and led to the death of tens of thousands of people. Immediately after the quake, it’s estimated that 1.5 million people were housed in impromptu settlements.

Even 31 months later, it’s estimated that 400,000 Haitians are still without homes, living in tented communities across the hillsides of Port-au-Prince.

Isaac is forecast to hit Hispaniola at approximately 12 GMT on Friday, and is expected to deliver between 300 and 500 mm of rain.

If this storm follows the forecast, then it will cause widespread flooding and potentially landslides as well. This will be hazardous to anyone in the country, and tarpaulins will provide little, if any, protection.

315

Source:
Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
Frustration grows in Kiev as pledges to end corruption and abuse of power stagnate after Maidan Square protest.
Thousands of Houthi supporters have called for the fall of Yemen's government. But what do the Houthis really want?
New ration reductions and movement restrictions have refugees from Myanmar anxious about their future in Thailand.
US lawyers say poor translations of election materials disenfranchise Native voters.
US drones in Pakistan have killed thousands since 2004. How have leaders defended or decried these deadly planes?
join our mailing list